Why PR pros should treat journalists with courtesy and respect

Even if your pitch gets ignored altogether, copping a snippy attitude won’t benefit you in either the short or long term. Reconsider your approach with these guidelines.

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When PR pros are rude to journalists, they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

In studying media relations, we were taught that journalists are to be treated like gold. You’re there to make their jobs easier, getting them what they need to tell the story, working with them to help them understand the brand’s position and offering sources who can lend their perspectives.

I advocate adopting a service-oriented attitude when working with journalists. It seems like common sense. As the saying goes, “You attract more flies with honey than with vinegar,” so why not adopt an attitude of being helpful?

Consider the journalist’s position:

· They receive multiple pitches per day—some receive hundreds per week—and use their discretion to choose which stories to pursue. They can’t say yes to every pitch; if they respond to you at all, be thankful.

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